Coffeepot Stables’ homebred Farrell was sent off the 4-5 favorite in Saturday’s $145,500 Silverbulletday Stakes at Fair Grounds and lived up to all expectations with a 2 3/4-length victory under regular rider Channing Hill.
Gris Gris took command of the race soon after the start and proceeded to set splits of :23.80, :47.67 and 1:13.31. Farrell wasn’t far behind, keeping close track of the leader in second while running two and three wide.
Rounding the turn, Hill asked Farrell and she responded. Kicking into gear the Malibu Moon filly moved to the front and pulled off to finish a mile and 70 yards in 1:44.01 over muddy, sealed dirt.
“This is a very classy filly,” Hill said. “She’s bred to be a good horse and the whole barn has done a good job getting her to this level. She shut off really nicely for me, took a few deep breaths down the backside and then punched home when (Untapped) came outside of me.”
“It went accordingly,” trainer Wayne Catalano said. “Channing thought (Gris Gris) would have some speed, so I told him we would just go to the front and sit right off her. That’s what we did. We had a nervous moment (at the top of the stretch), but not a whole bunch. You want to wait until mid-stretch here before you really worry. At that point, she was looking nice and Channing was sitting pretty good.”
Farrell paid $3.60 for the win, her second straight after taking the Golden Rod Stakes (G2) at Churchill Downs by six lengths on November 26. Wicked Lick got up to stick her head in front of Gris Gris on the wire for second, while Summertime Sky finished another 3 1/4 lengths behind in fourth.
“We had a great trip,” said trainer Brian Hernandez Jr., who piloted Wicked Lick. “I knew I had horse and at the top of the stretch I thought I could maybe out-grind them. She finished off really good and is getting better and better as we go along. Every race is an improvement.”
“I’m really happy with her performance,” added Wicked Lick’s trainer, Brendan Walsh. “She keeps getting better.”
The top four shared in 17 points awarded toward a starting berth in the Kentucky Oaks (G1). Farrell took home 10 points for the win, Wicked Lick earned four points for second, Gris Gris took home two for third and Summertime Sky garnered one point.
In addition to the Golden Rod and this contest, Farrell also shows a third in the Rags to Riches Stakes. Her overall record now stands at 5-3-0-1, $241,357, which includes her five-length maiden win at Churchill Downs on October 1.